FTC Approves Polypore International’s Application to Sell Microporous to Seven Mile Capital Partners; Sale Will Unwind Illegal 2008 Acquisition

For Your Information

Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade has approved an application by Polypore International, Inc. for approval to divest all stock and assets related to Microporous, which it acquired in February 2008, to Seven Mile Capital Partners. The divestiture is required by a Commission final decision and order that found the acquisition anticompetitive and required Polypore to sell Microporous to an FTC-approved buyer.

The FTC challenged Polypore’s acquisition of Microporous in a September 9, 2008, complaint, charging that the merger had resulted in decreased competition and higher prices in four North American markets for battery separators, a key component in flooded lead-acid batteries. Following an administrative trial, on February 22, 2010, an administrative law judge found that the consummated deal was anticompetitive, and that complete divestiture of the acquired assets was needed to restore competition in the affected markets.

On November 5, 2010, the Commission upheld the ALJ’s Initial Decision, ruling that the acquisition was anticompetitive in three of the four North American markets identified in the complaint but not in the fourth market for separators used to make batteries for backup power supply. The Commission’s order required Polypore to sell Microporous to an FTC-approved buyer within six months after the divestiture provisions became final. Polypore appealed the Commission’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals, which on July 11, 2012, affirmed the FTC’s final decision and order. Polypore then appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear it.

The Commission vote approving the proposed divestiture was 3-0-1, with Commissioner Joshua D. Wright not participating. (FTC Docket No. 9327; the staff contact is Elizabeth A. Piotrowski, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2623; see related press release dated September 10, 2008)

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust{at}ftc{dot}gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 601 New Jersey Ave., Room 7117, Washington, DC 20001. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Contact Information

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Mitchell J. Katz,
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